Questioning Adoption-Abortion Link
Posted on Oct 29, 2007
One of the right wing’s most frequently invoked alternatives to abortion is adoption—but, as an Op-Ed piece in the Los Angeles Times points out, the relationship between the two choices is not at all as direct or demonstrable as some politicians, such as Rudy Giuliani, have made it seem.
Cory L. Richards in the L.A. Times:
Giuliani is not alone in misrepresenting the adoption-abortion link in this way. Politicians from both parties frequently promote tax credits and other incentives to ease the way for adoptive parents to demonstrate that they want to “do something” about abortion. Facilitating adoptions, especially of hard-to-place children, deserves our strong support. But it does nothing to affect the abortion rate. To assert that it does is either ill-informed or simply cynical, and it should stop.
Meanwhile, we know that very few women actually place their infants for adoption. In the United States, fewer than 14,000 newborns were voluntarily relinquished in 2003 (the latest year for which an estimate is available), according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That proportion—just under 1% of all the children born to never-married women—has remained constant for almost two decades. It’s down considerably from the early 1970s, but even in those days, more than nine in 10 unmarried women who gave birth kept their babies.